Ilhor Zhovkva, from the office of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a stark warning to European leaders the Ukraine war may expand to other European countries if they fail now to provide Ukraine with the necessary military equipment to defend itself. His call comes as tension is escalating in the eastern Donbas region where Russian troops are making advances and could soon gain full control of the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk province.
Speaking to Channel 4 News, he said: “Don’t think that somewhere in Madrid or somewhere in London, you will be simply sitting before the screen or before the laptop and watching this is as a movie. No, this horror movie may to come to you if you don’t stop this horror movie here in Ukraine.”
Channel 4 News’ reporter Matt Frei asked: “Is there a danger here, finally, that there’s a division between those countries, obviously you but also the Baltic Republics, Poland who see this as an existential threat to their existence and those countries who see Russia as an existential threat to their prosperity?”
“Well, look, you know, it’s a moral choice,” Mr Zhovkva said. “You have endangered prosperity as a one, you know, stake. And the other stake is the deaths of the Ukrainian people. And you have at one stake, you think as the war only in Ukraine, but you have to think that the war is not only in Ukraine. It’s physically now in Ukraine, but it’s against everyone in Europe.”
On how the war could end, Mr Zhovkva said: “We will not end the war on someone else’s, you know, conditions. And that’s what clearly was told to us by Chancellor Scholz, by President Macron, by Prime Minister Draghi, by Prime Minister Johnson when they were visiting Kyiv.”
“It will be up to Ukraine to decide when and how to end the war. Definitely, there was…”
Channel 4 News’ Matt Frei cut him off, asking: “So no hint of pressure from those Western leaders?”
“No, no,” said Mr Zhovkva. “But the pressure from us was, please provide us more and more weapons.”
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Matt Frei asked: “How long will this last, do you think?”
“No one knows,” Mr Zhovkva said. “The time definitely plays into Russian hands. We are losing, unfortunately, people every day. And that’s what is not, you know, the desire of Ukrainian people for each and every Ukrainian.”
The exact Ukrainian death toll from the devastating war is difficult to pin down though some Ukrainian officials have given some estimates. While presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych told The Guardian it was 150 killed and 800 wounded daily in early June, another, Mykhaylo Podolyak told the BBC the daily Ukrainian death toll amounts to 100 to 200.
After losing the last stronghold Ukrainians held in the Donetsk province, Ukraine is now concentrating its effort on Lysychansk in the eastern Luhansk province – the last remaining Donbas province in Ukrainian control.
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